Monday, February 26, 2018

April is not the cruellest month, Tom

Jane Scott
 One reaches a certain age and you are not surprised to hear that people you love have passed away., This February has been especially cruel for me...

Jane Scott passed away early in the month--we only found out a few weeks later. She and her family lived two blocks north of us in Boulder while I was growing up in an elegant home with a magical garden I'd walk by and admire. Decades later I discovered she'd moved not far from where I was living in Denver and had created the most beautiful rose garden in the region. My partner, Jan, has helped her for years. I took this picture of her in her garden last June when I toured Denver Botanic Gardens' interns through gardens: hers was far and away the most loved by them. She kept saying that we should all get together for pizza last year. But there's always next year we thought. Jane leaves behind John and a loving daughter as well as many dear friends.

Bracey Tiede (left) Richard on the right
 Bracey on the left passed away mid February. She and Richard visited last summer--the picture was taken at a mountain garden in Conifer where we all enjoyed lunch, and laughs. She and Richard are both icons of Northern California horticulture--leaders in many groups, with a stunning garden full of treasures. Although I have not known the Tiedes as many years as I have the others, they've quickly become dear to me, and I was so looking forward to more visits and times together...I wish Richard, her loving husband, my deepest sympathy.

Barbara Baldwin with me behind
 I have other, much nicer pictures of this beautiful woman who has graced my life for many decades. Barbara was one of the most dedicated, long-term volunteers at Denver Botanic Gardens, serving in so many capacities--on our Board for one thing for a crucial period where she was instrumental in steering us out of dangerous waters.

Barbara helped develop a robust tour program at the Gardens and enlisted me to lead a number of tours which she accompanied including to Greece and Turkey--and we're pictured here together on West Spanish peak on yet another field trip, only one I organized almost a decade ago. We lost Barbara only Saturday after a brave fight. My sincere condolences to Dennis, her loving and wonderful husband.

Rachel Saunders near Middelpos among Gazania krebsiana
 They are reported as "kidnapped" and we're hoping against hope that Rachel and Rod Saunders will yet be found alive. The authorities are not releasing much information--they had been searching for a rare gladiolus in the Northern Drakensberg. Their car was found far from the last sighting of them and foul play is suspected.

Rod Saunders near Middelpos among Gazania krebsiana
I took these pictures on an unforgettable field trip to the high Roggeveld I took with the twenty years ago. They visited us last June and we had a wonderful walk around the Gardens (the delospermas were in full bloom: they were enchanted!). We had a wonderful dinner that night, they stayed with us and left the next day for England.

We yearn for those who pass away for their own precious selves. But we grieve almost as much for what they have taken away with them--all their associations with us, the memories of our times together, our mutual memories are now somehow incomplete... I once learned in a wonderful course at Landmark Education that we are not our physical bodies, our own consciousness so much as the reflections of that body, our hearts and minds and words in those that we know and love. In other words, who we are is really who we love. And when they go, so too are we diminished.They have taken a better part of us with them.  Like Hopkins' Golden Grove, it's ourselves we grieve for.

1 comment:

  1. So sad to lose cherished friends. Praying for the two that are missing.


Featured Post

A garden near lake Tekapo

The crevice garden of Michael Midgley Just a few years old, this crevice garden was designed and built by Michael Midgley, a delightful ...

Blog Archive